Not long ago, a well-known host from Chongqing passed away due to illness at the age of 42. It is reported that he suffered from a severe cold and did not recover from it. He induced myocardial infarction while exercising heavily at night. As soon as the news came out, it became a hot search topic. In addition to being regretful, it also aroused public attention on whether exercise can be done when you have a cold.
Some people think that exercise can help restore vitality, while others think that you should rest more at this time. At a time when various respiratory diseases are at high risk, and when strong winds are cooling down the temperature, doctors would like to remind people with colds that exercise depends on the situation. Excessive exertion when you have a severe cold can easily damage the heart muscle.
Cold exercise should be carried out according to the situation
Clinically, this situation is not very uncommon. I once treated a female college student who suffered a heart attack while running while having a cold. When the patient was sent to the hospital, his heartbeat and pulse were very weak. We continued to press, open the airway, inject epinephrine, etc., and only then did positive effects gradually appear. Later, after a series of intense defibrillation rescue operations, the crisis was finally overcome.
In response to this kind of incident, some netizens also left me messages asking: Can exercising after catching a cold really lead to such serious consequences? Can’t exercise at all if I have a cold?
This issue needs to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. As we all know, colds are upper respiratory tract infections. After a cold, patients usually experience symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, general weakness, and low fever. If you only have a mild cold and the symptoms are not obvious, in addition to taking cold medicine and drinking more water as directed by your doctor, you can also consider appropriate exercise, such as walking, Tai Chi, stretching and other gentle and soothing activities.
If the cold is severe, especially if you have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, palpitations, frequent coughing, worsening asthma, and weakness in the limbs, you must avoid strenuous exercise (such as long-distance running, playing ball, strength training, swimming, etc.), otherwise it will Aggravates cold symptoms such as fever, nausea, and vomiting, further reducing immunity. This will not only worsen cold symptoms and prolong the course of the disease, but may even lead to more serious consequences.
Influenza viruses love to attack the heart muscle
Strenuous exercise after a cold may induce fulminant myocarditis and myocardial infarction in severe cases, leading to serious problems such as malignant arrhythmia, heart failure, and sudden death.
Why does a small cold cause myocarditis? The correlation between colds and myocarditis lies mainly in viruses. Although the chance of myocarditis from catching a cold is not high, you should be afraid of the worst case scenario and don’t take it lightly!
There are many types of viruses that can cause myocarditis and colds, and some of them overlap and can cause two diseases at the same time, such as echovirus, influenza virus, adenovirus, etc. These viruses have a “special liking” for our myocardial cells. Once the immunity is weakened, they will attack the myocardial tissue in groups, causing viral myocarditis. The clinical manifestations of viral myocarditis are highly variable, and if not treated promptly, it may turn into fatal fulminant myocarditis.
Young people should pay more attention to vascular health
As cardiovascular diseases become younger, many patients with myocardial infarction have regular exercise habits. Some young people only pay attention to their exercise status, but ignore their cardiovascular conditions. Due to high work pressure, emotional anxiety, disordered work and rest schedules, and a preference for heavy-flavored foods, many young and middle-aged people develop high blood pressure early and the “quality” of their blood vessels decreases.
If you exercise vigorously at this time, the body’s oxygen consumption will increase and the heart load will increase, which will easily lead to insufficient blood supply. If there are unstable plaques “lurking” in the blood vessels, once strenuous exercise causes the cardiovascular load to exceed the “critical value”, the plaque will rupture, resulting in acute coronary syndrome (acute myocardial infarction is the most common), and Squeezing pain or suffocation in the precordium.
In short, everyone should pay more attention to vascular health and conduct regular physical examinations and evaluations to reduce sudden cardiovascular accidents. Text/Wang Fang (Beijing Hospital)